Simon Gudgeon Sculpture

Dorchester, United Kingdom

I like to have a diverse practice; the challenge of new ideas and new subjects is always inspiring and keeps my work fresh. As an artist I do not want to be compartmentalised as a ‘wildlife artist’, an ‘abstract artist’ or a ‘figurative artist’; instead I want the freedom to look at new subjects and new techniques and create art that people can respond to. All my work does, however, have a common theme; they are explorations in abstraction and form; expressions of beauty that appeals to the senses. However the work must have a vitality and emotional appeal beyond that. That appeal must be independent of the object it represents and beyond the element of pure beauty. The object is just a medium for conveying that vitality and emotion.
My fascination with kinetic sculpture began when I saw the the work of Alexander Calder and George Rickey, and in many ways these sculptures are a tribute to those great masters of the art. I found the gentle movement of the sculptures to be mesmerizing and was fascinated by the potential of kinetic art. I wanted to create work that had a similar effect and along the way I have learnt so many new skills and techniques. I am grateful to all those who took the time to answer my simple questions, explain possibilities and show me how to work with metal.
Having worked with bronze all my sculpting career I wanted to continue with that versatile metal, using new patination chemicals to create beautiful colours. I also wanted to refine the designs so that the joints and connections reflected the shape of the sculpture, so the whole piece was cohesive and harmonious.
Most sculptures are rigid forms; they have a sense of permanence, which reflects our view of the world. However, our world and our universe are in a constant state of flux; unexpected events can change our lives and our environment.
In this series of new sculptures I have been exploring movement and the purity of the abstract form. At rest, the sculptures are elegant; they are a delicate exploration of the beauty of pure abstraction. Yet the unseen forces of nature can change that order to a series of random and unpredictable movements. Fluctuating air currents will move the elements of the sculptures in an infinite number of erratic ways that appear to defy logic, gravity and the laws of physics. They immerse the viewer as he attempts to impose logic and order to the unpredictable pattern of movement, much as we try and impose order and logic to the random nature of our lives. They reflect the human condition, which is why we relate to them.
To compliment the physical movement there is the optical motion as light reflects off the faces of the sculpture and the face of each element reflects the surrounding environment. These are sculptures of infinite physical and optical variations.
Kinetic sculpture creates a respite from the insistent demands of modern life; it is art that the viewers can immerse themselves in; art that appeals to their emotions, from the delight of a sudden movement to the apprehension of imminent disintegration, from stability to collapse; art that has grace and a hypnotic allure; the beauty of poetic thoughts and the choreography of erratic movement. Unlike my previous sculptures where each piece was cast as part of an edition the sculptures in the kinetic range are individually made, although in some cases the bases are cast. Because of this I am not producing them in editions, each piece is unique; hand made in my studio. Consequently each sculpture is numbered consecutively, depending upon when it was made rather than it’s similarity to a previous piece.
Simon Gudgeon
Wescover creator since 2019

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